Home Europe Worried Zelenskyy Attends NATO Anniversary In Washington

Worried Zelenskyy Attends NATO Anniversary In Washington

The Ukraine President met Republican leaders, hoping for their support in case Donald Trump wins the US elections.

WASHINGTON: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy returned to the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday to cement relationships with lawmakers who will vote on future U.S. aid for his country, which could be in jeopardy if former President Donald Trump is re- elected.

Zelenskyy who is in Washington for this week’s NATO summit, met with leaders of the Senate and House of Representatives and members of committees involved in defence, spending, diplomacy and national security.

“It’s an incredibly important mission and we’ve got to stand by Ukraine,” Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Mark Warner told Reuters.

The visit comes amid deep uncertainty about this year’s U.S. presidential election, which pits incumbent Democrat Joe Biden, a strong supporter of aid to Ukraine, against the Republican Trump, who has expressed scepticism about the amount of aid given.

Zelenskyy awarded the Order of Merit of Ukraine to Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell before having lunch with a group of Democratic and Republican senators. He later sat down with the Republican House of Representatives speaker, Mike Johnson, telling reporters he had just invited Johnson to Kyiv.

Johnson, a close Trump ally, said it would be difficult to find the time for a trip before the November election, when every seat in the House will be up for grabs and his fellow Republicans hope to preserve or expand their narrow majority.

“We’d sure like to. The schedule’s pretty tight through the election for us, so it’s difficult to find the time to go, but we’d certainly like to,” Johnson said.

Biden’s uneven June 27 debate performance against Trump and low public approval have raised fresh doubts about his mental fitness, and a handful of congressional Democrats have called for Biden to step aside.

Nitin A Gokhale WhatsApp Channel

Reuters reported last month that two Trump advisers had presented the Republican candidate with a plan to end Russia’s war in Ukraine – if he wins the November 5 election – that involves telling Kyiv it will only get more U.S. weapons if it enters peace talks.

Zelenskyy urged U.S. political leaders in a speech on Tuesday not to wait for the outcome of the U.S. election before moving forcefully to help Ukraine and called for fewer restrictions on the use of U.S. weaponry.

In Congress, dozens of Trump’s closest allies have voted repeatedly against assisting Zelenskyy government, although Democrats and more internationally focused Republicans have worked together to approve the $175 billion in aid for Ukraine Washington has approved since Russia invaded in February 2022.

Most recently, Johnson changed course in April – months after Biden requested the money – and allowed the House to vote on and pass $61 billion in assistance for Ukraine.

When Zelenskyy last visited Congress in December, Johnson had said he would not support Biden’s request for additional funding.

The House passed the supplemental spending package by 311 to 112, with the “no” votes coming from conservative Republicans closely allied with Trump. The vote fuelled concerns Trump’s party will not approve more money for Ukraine if they take control of the House, Senate and White House in November.

However, Johnson said in his first major national security address this week that Russia poses a threat beyond Ukraine, and that American voters have expressed support for the aid as he traveled around the country.

“People understand that (Russian President Vladimir Putin) would not stop if he took Kyiv. He’s a ruthless dictator in my view,” Johnson said.

Previous articleBiden Allies Pelosi, Clooney Raise Doubts About His Re-Election
Next articleElections In The UK, France, India Have Delivered One Verdict: Home First
In a career spanning over three decades and counting, I’ve been the Foreign Editor of The Telegraph, Outlook Magazine and The New Indian Express. I helped set up rediff.com’s editorial operations in San Jose and New York, helmed sify.com, and was the founder editor of India.com.

My work has featured in national and international publications like the Al Jazeera Centre for Studies, Global Times and The Asahi Shimbun. My one constant over all these years, however, has been the attempt to understand rising India’s place in the world.

On demand, I can rustle up a mean salad, my oil-less pepper chicken is to die for, and depending on the time of the day, all it takes to rock my soul is some beer and some jazz or good ole rhythm & blues.

Talk to me about foreign and strategic affairs, media, South Asia, China, and of course India.